Florida Republican Matt Gaetz says rank-and-file Democrats are absolutely right: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is a liar.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, hours after a last-minute deal was reached to avoid a government shutdown, Gaetz – a close ally of former President Donald Trump – vowed this week he would try to oust McCarthy from the his position as leader of the GOP – controlled chamber.
“I think we need to move forward with new leadership that can be trusted,” Gaetz told CNN’s State of the Union. The lawmaker, who has his own history of making false claims, maintained that “everyone” shares his lack of faith in the Republican leader.
“(N)obody trusts Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz said. “He lied to Biden, he lied to conservatives in the House.”
Under the deal reached late Saturday night, the Republican-led House agreed to fund the government for another 45 days, ensuring that soldiers and federal workers will continue to receive pay — but not ‘y any funding for Ukraine, the majority of GOP lawmakers initially voted against any additional military aid.
It comes after McCarthy, this spring, agreed to a separate deal with the White House that was marketed to the public as preventing the extreme brinkmanship seen last week. As The Washington Post reported at the time, the bipartisan compromise — through drastic cuts in future spending — could help Congress avoid partisan gridlock and “a government shutdown this fall.”
But McCarthy soon admitted that he only accepted federal spending limits and, in a concession to right-wing members of his caucus, argued that Republicans could continue to impose spending cuts that not defense.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, like other Democrats, accused McCarthy this week of breaking his word.
“Remember, bipartisan majorities agreed to the funding levels back in June. The leaders of the House, the Senate, the White House, we all shook hands with this agreement, but now the speaker, and the speaker alone, is going back on his word. ,” the New York lawmaker said Thursday.
McCarthy, by agreeing to a stopgap funding measure on Saturday, finally won over the most conservative members of his party — calculating, as Gaetz and other hard-right Republicans see it, that the his speakership could survive even if he sided with the Democrats calling for him. liar days earlier.